German Banks From Conglomerate Mobile Payments Program

October 10, 2017         By: Steven Anderson

Banks getting into mobile payments isn’t exactly new in and of itself, but the often risk-averse banks haven’t really been jumping in the way they perhaps should have to keep customers’ interest. In a bid to change that, we’ve seen more banks bring out programs accordingly. Now, a group of 10 separate German savings banks is getting together to bring out a new program, first for the group’s employees, then for the broader user market.

The program doesn’t actually have a name yet, at last report, but is built around near-field communications technology developed by S-Payment, which itself is part of the Deutscher Sparkassenverlag (DSV) Group. Backing up this play is Bayern Card Services, Finanz Informatik and Pluscard.

Meanwhile, the group of German banks involved in the program features such names as Forde Sparkasse, Gunzburg-Krumback, Hannover, Heidelberg and Leipzig, among a slate of others. The employees-only version will be launched before the end of the year, and the data generated therein will be used to refine the program for the wider release. It’s set to incorporate, at last report, both girocard and Mastercard, so there should be variety enough there for the end users.

Reports from the Institute for Public Opinion Poll Allensbach note that, among 16 to 29 year olds, 56 percent are open to the notion of contactless payments by smartphone. This could ultimately mean a chance to strike while the iron is hot, so to speak, and get some users in the fold.

It might seem like the banks have already missed their opportunity to get in, and the market has already settled down into the combination of Apple, Samsung, and everybody else that’s currently operating therein. Given the numbers of customers who are prepared to step in as noted previously, this could be a good idea. However, it’s worth noting that the other players in this market have been in for some time, so a large portion of this potential market could be denied before the players even step on the field.

Is it too late for the banks to bring out a mobile payment system? Maybe it’s not that late after all, but there’s a significant risk that the banks showed up too late to the party to matter.